Mother's Day Project: Bath Bombs

Friday, March 4, 2016

Celebrate Mother's Day with these pretty butterflies, symbols of the soul and a long life. Pop one into a warm bath, breathe in the exquisite aroma, lie back and let yourself float away.


  • 300g (11oz or 1 cup) granulated citric acid
  • 600g (1lb 5oz or 2 cups) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon neroli (orange blossom) essential oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon palmarosa essential oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon rose geranium essential oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper essential oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon liquid red colour (or ultramarine pink powder) in half a batch of mixture


Butterfly moulds


This recipe will make approximately 15 butterflies

Making the mixture

1 First measure out the citric acid and add to the bowl.

2 Measure out the bicarbonate of soda and sieve the ingredients on to the top of the citric acid.


3 Make a well with your fingers and add any other dry ingredients, such as herbs, glitter, etc.

4 Sprinkle in the fragrance; and put half of the mixture into another bowl. Leave one half uncoloured and colour the other half pink - the mixture may fizz when you add liquid colour. This is quite normal, just cover the fizzing colour with some dry ingredients.


5 Start mixing all of the ingredients together with your hands (do not use bare hands if you have any cuts or sores, as they will sting).

6 Make sure that ALL of the colour and fragrance are thoroughly mixed; occasionally the colour may clump into little blobs, so you will need to make sure that all of the colour has been incorporated evenly.

7 To distribute any clumps of colour, try rubbing the mixture between the palms of your hands.

Note: Once the ingredients are weighed out, do not leave the mixture to sit, as it may begin to set by itself before any liquid is added.


8 Now for the tricky part – binding the mixture. If you are using an oil or butter, add this to the mixture now. You will need to work quite quickly to stop the mixtures drying out.

9 Next, using your spray bottle, spray the mixture several times with water (you can also use witch hazel or floral waters) and mix in with your hands. The oil will also act as a binder so be careful not to add too much water. When the water reacts with the ingredients, the mixture will become icy cold and heavy to the touch. Squeeze the mixture together with your hands before adding more water.

10 If you do not have a spritz bottle, you can moisten your hands under a tap, or dip your fingers into a small bowl of water, and sprinkle a little into the mixture from your fingertips. Take care, however, as there is a risk of adding too much water.

11 Your mixture should resemble damp sand and should hold together well when squeezed in your hand. If the mixture is too wet, when you turn it out it can ‘grow’ and change shape. If it is dry and crumbles, add some more water. When you are happy with your mix, mould your bath bombs fairly quickly before the mixture starts to dry out. If it does begin to dry out, just spritz on some more water.


 Project taken from Bath Bombs by Elaine Stavert, published by GMC (£5.99, available from


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